Gene Summary

Gene:TFAP2C; transcription factor AP-2 gamma
Aliases: ERF1, TFAP2G, hAP-2g, AP2-GAMMA
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a sequence-specific DNA-binding transcription factor involved in the activation of several developmental genes. The encoded protein can act as either a homodimer or heterodimer with other family members and is induced during retinoic acid-mediated differentiation. It plays a role in the development of the eyes, face, body wall, limbs, and neural tube. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:transcription factor AP-2 gamma
Source:NCBIAccessed: 12 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (25)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 12 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Core Binding Factor beta Subunit
  • Promoter Regions
  • Apoptosis
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Gene Expression
  • Breast Cancer
  • Protein Binding
  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 2 Subunit
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Down-Regulation
  • Binding Sites
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Cancer DNA
  • Zinc Fingers
  • siRNA
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Chromosome 16
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Acute Myeloid Leukaemia
  • Upstream Stimulatory Factors
  • Leukaemia
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • TFAP2A
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • TFAP2C
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Sp1 Transcription Factor
  • Base Sequence
  • Messenger RNA
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Melanoma
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Chromosome 20
  • Myeloid Leukemia
  • DNA Methylation
  • Chromosome Inversion
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Up-Regulation
Tag cloud generated 12 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: TFAP2C (cancer-related)

Qiao MX, Li C, Zhang AQ, et al.
Regulation of DEK expression by AP-2α and methylation level of DEK promoter in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(4):2382-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
DEK is overexpressed in multiple invasive tumors. However, the transcriptional regulatory mechanism of DEK remains unclear. In the present study, progressive-type truncation assay indicated that CpG2-2 (-167 bp/+35 bp) was the DEK core promoter, whose methylation inhibited DEK expression. Bisulfite genomic sequencing analysis indicated that the methylation levels of the DEK promoter in normal hepatic cells and tissues were higher than those in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. TFSEARCH result revealed transcription factor binding sites in CpG2-2. Among the sites, the AP-2α binding site showed the most significant methylation difference; hence, AP-2α is a key transcription factor that regulates DEK expression. Point or deletion mutation of the AP-2α binding site significantly reduced the promoter activity. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay demonstrated the binding of AP-2α to the core promoter. Furthermore, knock down of endogenous AP-2α downregulated DEK expression, whereas overexpression of AP-2α upregulated DEK expression. Thus, AP-2α is an important transcription factor of DEK expression, which is correlated with the methylation level of the DEK core promoter in HCC.

De Andrade JP, Park JM, Gu VW, et al.
EGFR Is Regulated by TFAP2C in Luminal Breast Cancer and Is a Target for Vandetanib.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2016; 15(3):503-11 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Expression of TFAP2C in luminal breast cancer is associated with reduced survival and hormone resistance, partially explained through regulation of RET. TFAP2C also regulates EGFR in HER2 breast cancer. We sought to elucidate the regulation and functional role of EGFR in luminal breast cancer. We used gene knockdown (KD) and treatment with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) in cell lines and primary cancer isolates to determine the role of RET and EGFR in regulation of p-ERK and tumorigenesis. KD of TFAP2C decreased expression of EGFR in a panel of luminal breast cancers, and chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq) confirmed that TFAP2C targets the EGFR gene. Stable KD of TFAP2C significantly decreased cell proliferation and tumor growth, mediated in part through EGFR. While KD of RET or EGFR reduced proliferation (31% and 34%, P < 0.01), combined KD reduced proliferation greater than either alone (52% reduction, P < 0.01). The effect of the TKI vandetanib on proliferation and tumor growth response of MCF-7 cells was dependent upon expression of TFAP2C, and dual KD of RET and EGFR eliminated the effects of vandetanib. The response of primary luminal breast cancers to TKIs assessed by ERK activation established a correlation with expression of RET and EGFR. We conclude that TFAP2C regulates EGFR in luminal breast cancer. Response to vandetanib was mediated through the TFAP2C target genes EGFR and RET. Vandetanib may provide a therapeutic effect in luminal breast cancer, and RET and EGFR can serve as molecular markers for response.

Murata T, Noda C, Narita Y, et al.
Induction of Epstein-Barr Virus Oncoprotein LMP1 by Transcription Factors AP-2 and Early B Cell Factor.
J Virol. 2016; 90(8):3873-89 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) is a major oncogene essential for primary B cell transformation by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Previous studies suggested that some transcription factors, such as PU.1, RBP-Jκ, NF-κB, and STAT, are involved in this expression, but the underlying mechanism is unclear. Here, we identified binding sites for PAX5, AP-2, and EBF in the proximal LMP1 promoter (ED-L1p). We first confirmed the significance of PU.1 and POU domain transcription factor binding for activation of the promoter in latency III. We then focused on the transcription factors AP-2 and early B cell factor (EBF). Interestingly, among the three AP-2-binding sites in the LMP1 promoter, two motifs were also bound by EBF. Overexpression, knockdown, and mutagenesis in the context of the viral genome indicated that AP-2 plays an important role in LMP1 expression in latency II in epithelial cells. In latency III B cells, on the other hand, the B cell-specific transcription factor EBF binds to the ED-L1p and activates LMP1 transcription from the promoter.
IMPORTANCE: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) is crucial for B cell transformation and oncogenesis of other EBV-related malignancies, such as nasopharyngeal carcinoma and T/NK lymphoma. Its expression is largely dependent on the cell type or condition, and some transcription factors have been implicated in its regulation. However, these previous reports evaluated the significance of specific factors mostly by reporter assay. In this study, we prepared point-mutated EBV at the binding sites of such transcription factors and confirmed the importance of AP-2, EBF, PU.1, and POU domain factors. Our results will provide insight into the transcriptional regulation of the major oncogene LMP1.

Huang W, Chen C, Liang Z, et al.
AP-2α inhibits hepatocellular carcinoma cell growth and migration.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 48(3):1125-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
Transcription factor AP-2α is involved in many types of human cancers, but its role in hepatocellular carcinogenesis is largely unknown. In this study, we found that expression of AP-2α was low in 40% of human hepatocellular cancers compared with adjacent normal tissues by immunohistochemical analysis. Moreover, AP-2α expression was low or absent in hepatocellular cancer cell lines (HepG2, Hep3B, SMMC-7721 and MHHC 97-H). Human liver cancer cell lines SMMC-7721 and Hep3B stably overexpressing AP-2α were established by lentiviral infection and puromycin screening, and the ectopic expression of AP-2α was able to inhibit hepatocellular cancer cell growth and proliferation by cell viability, MTT assay and liquid colony formation in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, AP-2α overexpression decreased liver cancer cell migration and invasion as assessed by wound healing and Transwell assays, increasing the sensitivity of liver cancer cells to cisplatin analyzed by MTT assays. Also AP-2α overexpression suppressed the sphere formation and renewed the ability of cancer stem cells. Finally, we found that AP-2α is epigenetically modified and modulates the levels of phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK), β-catenin, p53, EMT, and CD133 expression in liver cancer cell lines. These results suggested that AP-2α expression is low in human hepatocellular cancers by regulating multiple signaling to affect hepatocellular cancer cell growth and migration. Therefore, AP-2α might represent a novel potential target in human hepatocellular cancer therapy.

Mirzaei H, Gholamin S, Shahidsales S, et al.
MicroRNAs as potential diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in melanoma.
Eur J Cancer. 2016; 53:25-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
Melanoma is a life-threatening malignancy with poor prognosis and a relatively high burden of mortality in advanced stages. The efficacy of current available therapeutic strategies is limited, with a survival rate of less than 10%. Despite rapid advances in biomarker-guided drug development in different tumour types, including melanoma, only a very small number of biomarkers have been identified. Recently, microRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as a molecular regulator in the development and progression of melanoma. Aberrant activation of some known miRNAs, e.g. let-7a and b, miR-148, miR-155, miR-182, miR-200c, miR-211, miR-214, miR-221 and 222, has been recognised to be linked with melanoma-associated genes such as NRAS, microphthalmia-associated transcription factor, receptor tyrosine kinase c-KIT, AP-2 transcription factor, etc. There is accumulating evidence suggesting the potential impact of circulating miRNAs as diagnostic and therapeutic markers in diseases. In addition, miRNAs have turned out to play important roles in drug-resistance mechanisms; suggesting their modulation as a potential approach to overcome chemoresistance. This review highlights recent preclinical and clinical studies on circulating miRNAs and their potential role as diagnosis, and therapeutic targets in melanoma.

Ikram F, Ackermann S, Kahlert Y, et al.
Transcription factor activating protein 2 beta (TFAP2B) mediates noradrenergic neuronal differentiation in neuroblastoma.
Mol Oncol. 2016; 10(2):344-59 [PubMed] Related Publications
Neuroblastoma is an embryonal pediatric tumor that originates from the developing sympathetic nervous system and shows a broad range of clinical behavior, ranging from fatal progression to differentiation into benign ganglioneuroma. In experimental neuroblastoma systems, retinoic acid (RA) effectively induces neuronal differentiation, and RA treatment has been therefore integrated in current therapies. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying differentiation are still poorly understood. We here investigated the role of transcription factor activating protein 2 beta (TFAP2B), a key factor in sympathetic nervous system development, in neuroblastoma pathogenesis and differentiation. Microarray analyses of primary neuroblastomas (n = 649) demonstrated that low TFAP2B expression was significantly associated with unfavorable prognostic markers as well as adverse patient outcome. We also found that low TFAP2B expression was strongly associated with CpG methylation of the TFAP2B locus in primary neuroblastomas (n = 105) and demethylation with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine resulted in induction of TFAP2B expression in vitro, suggesting that TFAP2B is silenced by genomic methylation. Tetracycline inducible re-expression of TFAP2B in IMR-32 and SH-EP neuroblastoma cells significantly impaired proliferation and cell cycle progression. In IMR-32 cells, TFAP2B induced neuronal differentiation, which was accompanied by up-regulation of the catecholamine biosynthesizing enzyme genes DBH and TH, and down-regulation of MYCN and REST, a master repressor of neuronal genes. By contrast, knockdown of TFAP2B by lentiviral transduction of shRNAs abrogated RA-induced neuronal differentiation of SH-SY5Y and SK-N-BE(2)c neuroblastoma cells almost completely. Taken together, our results suggest that TFAP2B is playing a vital role in retaining RA responsiveness and mediating noradrenergic neuronal differentiation in neuroblastoma.

Kousa YA, Schutte BC
Toward an orofacial gene regulatory network.
Dev Dyn. 2016; 245(3):220-32 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Orofacial clefting is a common birth defect with significant morbidity. A panoply of candidate genes have been discovered through synergy of animal models and human genetics. Among these, variants in interferon regulatory factor 6 (IRF6) cause syndromic orofacial clefting and contribute risk toward isolated cleft lip and palate (1/700 live births). Rare variants in IRF6 can lead to Van der Woude syndrome (1/35,000 live births) and popliteal pterygium syndrome (1/300,000 live births). Furthermore, IRF6 regulates GRHL3 and rare variants in this downstream target can also lead to Van der Woude syndrome. In addition, a common variant (rs642961) in the IRF6 locus is found in 30% of the world's population and contributes risk for isolated orofacial clefting. Biochemical studies revealed that rs642961 abrogates one of four AP-2alpha binding sites. Like IRF6 and GRHL3, rare variants in TFAP2A can also lead to syndromic orofacial clefting with lip pits (branchio-oculo-facial syndrome). The literature suggests that AP-2alpha, IRF6 and GRHL3 are part of a pathway that is essential for lip and palate development. In addition to updating the pathways, players and pursuits, this review will highlight some of the current questions in the study of orofacial clefting.

Rajpert-De Meyts E, Nielsen JE, Skakkebaek NE, Almstrup K
Diagnostic markers for germ cell neoplasms: from placental-like alkaline phosphatase to micro-RNAs.
Folia Histochem Cytobiol. 2015; 53(3):177-88 [PubMed] Related Publications
This concise review summarises tissue and serum markers useful for differential diagnosis of germ cell tumours (GCT), with focus on the most common testicular GCT (TGCT). GCT are characterised by phenotypic heterogeneity due to largely retained embryonic pluripotency and aberrant somatic differentiation. TGCT that occur in young men are divided into two main types, seminoma and nonseminoma, both derived from a pre-invasive germ cell neoplasia in situ (GCNIS), which originates from transformed foetal gonocytes. In severely dysgenetic gonads, a GCNIS-resembling lesion is called gonadoblastoma. GCT occur rarely in young children (infantile GCT) in whom the pathogenesis is different (no GCNIS/gonadoblastoma stage) but the histopathological features are similar to the adult GCT. The rare spermatocytic tumour of older men is derived from post-pubertal spermatogonia that clonally expand due to gain-of function mutations in survival-promoting genes (e.g. FGFR3, HRAS), thus this tumour has a different expression profile than GCNIS-derived TGCT. Clinically most informative immunohistochemical markers for GCT, except teratoma, are genes expressed in primordial germ cells/gonocytes and embryonic pluripotency-related factors, such as placental-like alkaline phosphatase (PLAP), OCT4 (POU5F1), NANOG, AP-2γ (TFAP2C) and LIN28, which are not expressed in normal adult germ cells. Some of these markers can also be used for immunocytochemistry to detect GCNIS or incipient tumours in semen samples. Gene expression in GCT is regulated in part by DNA and histone modifications, and the epigenetic profile of these tumours is characterised by genome-wide demethylation, except nonseminomas. In addition, a recently discovered mechanism of post-genomic gene expression regulation involves small non-coding RNAs, predominantly micro-RNA (miR). Testicular GCT display micro-RNA profiles similar to embryonic stem cells. Targeted miRNA-based blood tests for miR-371-3 and miR-367 clusters are currently under development and hold a great promise for the future. In some patients miR-based tests may be even more sensitive than the classical serum tumour markers, β -chorio-gonadotrophin (β-hCG), α-fetoprotein (AFP) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), which are currently used in the clinic. In summary, research advances have provided clinicians with a panel of molecular markers, which allow specific diagnosis of various subtypes of GCT and are very useful for early detection at the precursor stage and for monitoring of patients during the follow-up.

Wang W, Liu Z, Sun P, et al.
RGD Peptides-Conjugated Pluronic Triblock Copolymers Encapsulated with AP-2α Expression Plasmid for Targeting Gastric Cancer Therapy in Vitro and in Vivo.
Int J Mol Sci. 2015; 16(7):16263-74 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Gastric cancer, a high-risk malignancy, is a genetic disease developing from a cooperation of multiple gene mutations and a multistep process. Gene therapy is a novel treatment method for treating gastric cancer. Here, we developed a novel Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) peptides conjugated copolymers nanoparticles-based gene delivery system in order to actively targeting inhibit the growth of gastric cancer cells. These transcription factor (AP-2α) expression plasmids were also encapsulated into pluronic triblock copolymers nanoparticles which was constituted of poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(propylene glycol)- block-poly(ethylene glycol) (PEO-block-PPO-block-PEO, P123). The size, morphology and composition of prepared nanocomposites were further characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS). In MTT (3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) analysis, these nanocomposites have minor effects on the proliferation of GES-1 cells but significantly decreased the viability of MGC-803, suggesting they own low cytotoxicity but good antitumor activity. The following in vivo evaluation experiments confirmed that these nanocomposites could prevent the growth of gastric cancer cells in the tumor xenograft mice model. In conclusion, these unique RGD peptides conjugated P123 encapsulated AP-2α nanocomposites could selectively and continually kill gastric cancer cells by over-expression of AP-2α in vitro and in vivo; this exhibits huge promising applications in clinical gastric cancer therapy.

Lu ZP, Xiao ZL, Yang Z, et al.
Hepatitis B virus X protein promotes human hepatoma cell growth via upregulation of transcription factor AP2α and sphingosine kinase 1.
Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2015; 36(10):1228-36 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: Sphingosine kinase 1 (SPHK1) is involved in various cellular functions, including cell growth, migration, apoptosis, cytoskeleton architecture and calcium homoeostasis, etc. As an oncogenic kinase, SPHK1 is associated with the development and progression of cancers. The aim of this study was to investigate whether SPHK1 was involved in hepatocarcinogenesis induced by the hepatitis B virus X protein (HBx).
METHODS: The expression of SPHK1 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissue and hepatoma cells were measured using qRT-PCR and Western blot analysis. HBx expression levels in hepatoma cells were modulated by transiently transfected with HBx or psi-HBx plasmids. The SPHK1 promoter activity was measured using luciferase reporter gene assay, and the interaction of the transcription factor AP2α with the SPHK1 promoter was studied with chromatin immunoprecipitation assay. The growth of hepatoma cells was evaluated in vitro using MTT and colony formation assays, and in a tumor xenograft model.
RESULTS: A positive correlation was found between the mRNA levels of SPHK1 and HBx in 38 clinical HCC samples (r=+0.727, P<0.01). Moreover, the expression of SPHK1 was markedly increased in the liver cancer tissue of HBx-transgenic mice. Overexpressing HBx in normal liver cells LO2 and hepatoma cells HepG2 dose-dependently increased the expression of SPHK1, whereas silencing HBx in HBx-expressing hepatoma cells HepG2-X and HepG2.2.15 suppressed SPHK1 expression. Furthermore, overexpressing HBx in HepG2 cells dose-dependently increased the SPHK1 promoter activity, whereas silencing HBx in HepG2-X cells suppressed this activity. In HepG2-X cells, AP2α was found to directly interact with the SPHK1 promoter, and silencing AP2α suppressed the SPHK1 promoter activity and SPHK1 expression. Silencing HBx in HepG2-X cells abolished the HBx-enhanced proliferation and colony formation in vitro, and tumor growth in vivo.
CONCLUSION: HBx upregulates SPHK1 through the transcription factor AP2α, which promotes the growth of human hepatoma cells.

Du L, Qian X, Dai C, et al.
Screening the molecular targets of ovarian cancer based on bioinformatics analysis.
Tumori. 2015 Jul-Aug; 101(4):384-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS AND BACKGROUND: Ovarian cancer (OC) is the most lethal gynecologic malignancy. This study aims to explore the molecular mechanisms of OC and identify potential molecular targets for OC treatment.
METHODS AND STUDY DESIGN: Microarray gene expression data (GSE14407) including 12 normal ovarian surface epithelia samples and 12 OC epithelia samples were downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus database. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between 2 kinds of ovarian tissue were identified by using limma package in R language (|log2 fold change| gt;1 and false discovery rate [FDR] lt;0.05). Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) and known OC-related genes were screened from COXPRESdb and GenBank database, respectively. Furthermore, PPI network of top 10 upregulated DEGs and top 10 downregulated DEGs was constructed and visualized through Cytoscape software. Finally, for the genes involved in PPI network, functional enrichment analysis was performed by using DAVID (FDR lt;0.05).
RESULTS: In total, 1136 DEGs were identified, including 544 downregulated and 592 upregulated DEGs. Then, PPI network was constructed, and DEGs CDKN2A, MUC1, OGN, ZIC1, SOX17, and TFAP2A interacted with known OC-related genes CDK4, EGFR/JUN, SRC, CLI1, CTNNB1, and TP53, respectively. Moreover, functions about oxygen transport and embryonic development were enriched by the genes involved in the network of downregulated DEGs.
CONCLUSIONS: We propose that 4 DEGs (OGN, ZIC1, SOX17, and TFAP2A) and 2 functions (oxygen transport and embryonic development) might play a role in the development of OC. These 4 DEGs and known OC-related genes might serve as therapeutic targets for OC. Further studies are required to validate these predictions.

Sun J, Du N, Li J, et al.
Transcription Factor AP2ε: A Potential Predictor of Chemoresistance in Patients With Gastric Cancer.
Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2016; 15(2):285-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chemotherapy is a mainstay of therapy for advanced gastric cancer (GC); however, owing to drug resistances, the effectiveness of chemotherapy is not satisfactory for some patients with GC. Therefore, identification of a marker that predicts treatment response is beneficial to patients. Hypermethylation of transcription factor activating enhancer-binding protein 2∊ (TFAP2E) has been implicated in chemotherapy resistance to fluorouracil-based chemotherapy in patients with colorectal cancer, but its role in GC is still unknown. In this study, we investigated TFAP2E as a predictor of treatment response in GC. We used methylation-sensitive high-resolution melting analysis to study the methylation of TFAP2E in 141 GC tissue specimens and 45 adjacent nontumor tissue specimens. In vitro experiments, we analyzed the expression and methylation of TFAP2E and to examine the sensitivity of GC cell lines to 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). The TFAP2E methylation occurred at a significantly higher incidence rate in tumor tissues compared to adjacent nontumor tissues (chi-square [χ2] = 38.919, P < .001). Hypermethylation of TFAP2E occurred more frequently in tumors with lower differentiation grades (P < .001) and was significantly associated with nonresponse to fluorouracil-based chemotherapy (P = .010). Hypermethylation was also associated with decreased expression of TFAP2E (P < .01) and nonresponse to 5-FU exposure in vitro (P < .001). Hypermethylation of TFAP2E was associated with lack of response to fluorouracil-based chemotherapy, indicating that it might be a potential predictor of treatment response in patients with GC.

Park JM, Wu T, Cyr AR, et al.
The role of Tcfap2c in tumorigenesis and cancer growth in an activated Neu model of mammary carcinogenesis.
Oncogene. 2015; 34(50):6105-14 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
TFAP2C/AP-2γ influences development of the mammary gland and regulates patterns of gene expression in luminal and HER2-amplified breast cancer. The roles of TFAP2C in mammary gland tumorigenesis and in pathways critical to cancer progression remain poorly understood. To gain greater insight into oncogenic mechanisms regulated by TFAP2C, we examined mammary tumorigenesis in MMTV-Neu transgenic female mice with or without conditional knockout (KO) of Tcfap2c, the mouse homolog of TFAP2C. Loss of Tcfap2c increased the latency of tumorigenesis and tumors that formed demonstrated reduced proliferative index and increased apoptosis. In addition, tumors formed in Tcfap2c KO animals had a significant reduction in Egfr levels without a change in the expression of the Neu oncogene. The MMneu-flAP2C cell line was established from tumor tissue derived from MMTV-Neu/Tcfap2c(L/L) control animals and parallel cell lines with and without expression of Tcfap2c were created by transduction with adenovirus-empty and adenovirus-Cre, respectively. KO of Tcfap2c in vitro reduced activated phosphorylated-Erk, decreased cell viability, repressed tumor growth and was associated with attenuation of Egfr expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and direct sequencing and expression analysis confirmed that Egfr was a Tcfap2c target gene in murine, as well as human, mammary carcinoma cells. Furthermore, decreased viability of mammary cancer cells was directly related to Egfr functional blockade. We conclude that TFAP2C regulates tumorigenesis, cell growth and survival in HER2-amplified breast cancer through transcriptional regulation of EGFR. The findings have important implications for targeting the EGFR pathway in breast cancer.

Su W, Xia J, Chen X, et al.
Ectopic expression of AP-2α transcription factor suppresses glioma progression.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2014; 7(12):8666-74 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The transcriptional factor AP-2α is a tumor suppressor gene and is downregulated in various neoplasms including glioma. Although the level of AP-2α is negatively associated with the grade of human glioma, the specific functions of AP-2α in glioma are still unknown. In this study, we experimentally showed that artificial overexpression of AP-2α in glioma T98G and U251 cells significantly downregulated the mRNA levels of Bcl-xl, Bcl-2, c-IAP2 and survivin, together with upregulation of the Hrk mRNA levels. Reintroduction of AP-2α also induced downregulation of the protein levels of survivin and VEGF in glioma cells. In biological assays with T98G and U251 cells, AP-2α reduced tumor cell growth, increased cell death, attenuated cell migration and endothelial tube formation. The AP-2α transcription factor may play an important role in suppressing glioma progression.

Shi D, Xiao X, Tian Y, et al.
Activating enhancer-binding protein-2α induces cyclooxygenase-2 expression and promotes nasopharyngeal carcinoma growth.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(7):5005-21 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Activating enhancer-binding protein-2α (AP-2α) regulates the expression of many cancer-related genes. Here, we demonstrated a novel mechanism by which AP-2α up-regulated cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression to promote the growth of nasopharyngeal carcinomas (NPCs). High expression of AP-2α in NPC cell lines and tumor tissues from NPC patients was detected and significantly correlated with COX-2 expression. Overexpression of AP-2α and COX-2 in tumor tissues was associated with advanced tumor stage, clinical progression, and short survival of patients with NPCs. Knockdown of AP-2α by siRNA markedly inhibited COX-2 expression and PGE2 production in NPC cells. Exogenous expression of AP-2α up-regulated the COX-2 and PGE2. Knockdown of AP-2α also significantly suppressed cell proliferation in NPC cells in vitro and tumor growth in a NPC xenograft mouse model. Moreover, we found that p300 played an important role in the AP-2α/COX-2 pathway. AP-2α could co-localize and interact with p300 in NPC cells. Overexpression of the p300, but not its histone acetyltransferase (HAT) domain deletion mutant, promoted the acetylation of AP-2α and its binding on the COX-2 promoter, thereby up-regulated COX-2 expression. Our results indicate that AP-2α activates COX-2 expression to promote NPC growth and suggest that the AP-2α/COX-2 signaling is a potential therapeutic target for NPC treatment.

Bhattacharya A, Schmitz U, Raatz Y, et al.
miR-638 promotes melanoma metastasis and protects melanoma cells from apoptosis and autophagy.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(5):2966-80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The present study identified miR-638 as one of the most significantly overexpressed miRNAs in metastatic lesions of melanomas compared with primary melanomas. miR-638 enhanced the tumorigenic properties of melanoma cells in vitro and lung colonization in vivo. mRNA expression profiling identified new candidate genes including TP53INP2 as miR-638 targets, the majority of which are involved in p53 signalling. Overexpression of TP53INP2 severely attenuated proliferative and invasive capacity of melanoma cells which was reversed by miR-638. Depletion of miR-638 stimulated expression of p53 and p53 downstream target genes and induced apoptosis and autophagy. miR-638 promoter analysis identified the miR-638 target transcription factor associated protein 2α (TFAP2A/AP-2α) as a direct negative regulator of miR-638, suggestive for a double-negative regulatory feedback loop. Taken together, miR-638 supports melanoma progression and suppresses p53-mediated apoptosis pathways, autophagy and expression of the transcriptional repressor TFAP2A/AP-2α.

Hallberg AR, Vorrink SU, Hudachek DR, et al.
Aberrant CpG methylation of the TFAP2A gene constitutes a mechanism for loss of TFAP2A expression in human metastatic melanoma.
Epigenetics. 2014; 9(12):1641-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Metastatic melanoma is a deadly treatment-resistant form of skin cancer whose global incidence is on the rise. During melanocyte transformation and melanoma progression the expression profile of many genes changes. Among these, a gene implicated in several steps of melanocyte development, TFAP2A, is frequently silenced; however, the molecular mechanism of TFAP2A silencing in human melanoma remains unknown. In this study, we measured TFAP2A mRNA expression in primary human melanocytes compared to 11 human melanoma samples by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. In addition, we assessed CpG DNA methylation of the TFAP2A promoter in these samples using bisulfite sequencing. Compared to primary melanocytes, which showed high TFAP2A mRNA expression and no promoter methylation, human melanoma samples showed decreased TFAP2A mRNA expression and increased promoter methylation. We further show that increased CpG methylation correlates with decreased TFAP2A mRNA expression. Using The Cancer Genome Atlas, we further identified TFAP2A as a gene displaying among the most decreased expression in stage 4 melanomas vs. non-stage 4 melanomas, and whose CpG methylation was frequently associated with lack of mRNA expression. Based on our data, we conclude that TFAP2A expression in human melanomas can be silenced by aberrant CpG methylation of the TFAP2A promoter. We have identified aberrant CpG DNA methylation as an epigenetic mark associated with TFAP2A silencing in human melanoma that could have significant implications for the therapy of human melanoma using epigenetic modifying drugs.

Wu FL, Li RT, Yang M, et al.
Gelatinases-stimuli nanoparticles encapsulating 5-fluorouridine and 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine enhance the sensitivity of gastric cancer cells to chemical therapeutics.
Cancer Lett. 2015; 363(1):7-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aberrant methylation of the transcription factor AP-2 epsilon (TFAP2E) has been attributed to 5-fluorouridine (5-FU) sensitivity. 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine (DAC), an epigenetic drug that inhibits DNA methylation, is able to cause reactive expression of TFAP2E by demethylating activity. This property might be useful in enhancing the sensitivity of cancer cells to 5-FU. However, the effect of DAC is transient because of its instability. Here, we report the use of intelligent gelatinases-stimuli nanoparticles (NPs) to coencapsulate and deliver DAC and 5-FU to gastric cancer (GC) cells. The results showed that NPs encapsulating DAC, 5-FU, or both could be effectively internalized by GC cells. Furthermore, we found that the NPs enhanced the stability of DAC, resulting in improved re-expression of TFAP2E. Thus, the incorporation of DAC into NPs significantly enhanced the sensitivity of GC cells to 5-FU by inhibiting cell growth rate and inducing cell apoptosis. In conclusion, the results of this study clearly demonstrated that the gelatinases-stimuli NPs are an efficient means to simultaneously deliver epigenetic and chemotherapeutic drugs that may effectively inhibit cancer cell proliferation.

Park SJ, Kim SM, Hong YS, et al.
TFAP2E methylation status and prognosis of patients with radically resected colorectal cancer.
Oncology. 2015; 88(2):122-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: This study investigates the clinical significance of the gene encoding AP-2ε (TFAP2E) in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients undergoing curative resection.
METHODS: A single-institution cohort of 248 patients who underwent curative resection of stage I/II/III CRCs between March and December 2004 was enrolled, and 193 patients whose tumors were available for the determination of the TFAP2E methylation status were included in the analysis.
RESULTS: TFAP2E hypermethylation was detected in 112 patients (58%) and was significantly associated with distally located CRCs, low pathologic T stage (T1/T2), and stage I tumors. After a median follow-up of 86.3 months, the patients with TFAP2E hypermethylation tended to show better relapse-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) than the patients with TFAP2E hypomethylation (5-year RFS rate: 90 vs. 80%, p = 0.063; 6-year OS rate: 88 vs. 80%, p = 0.083). Multivariate analysis showed that the pathologic nodal stage and TFAP2E methylation status were independent prognostic factors for RFS and OS, and they remained significant factors in the subgroup analysis that included 154 patients with stage II/III CRCs who had received adjuvant chemotherapy.
CONCLUSIONS: TFAP2E hypermethylation is associated with good clinical outcomes and may be considered as an independent prognostic factor in patients with curatively resected CRCs.

Pan Y, Ren F, Zhang W, et al.
Regulation of BGC-823 cell sensitivity to adriamycin via miRNA-135a-5p.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 32(6):2549-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play an important role in the genesis and development of gastric cancer. In the present study, we determined whether miRNA-135a-5p expression was increased in gastric cancer compared with adjacent non-tumor tissues using 20 pairs of gastric cancer and para-carcinoma tissue samples which were assessed via microarray and bioinformatics analysis, and western blotting. The protein content detection showed that miRNA‑135a-5p expression was inversely correlated with AP-2α. Bioinformatics analysis revealed that AP-2α contains a putative miRNA-135a-5p target, which was confirmed as a direct target using the 3'-UTR luciferase reporter system. Additionally, an increase and decrease of miRNA-135a-5p inhi-bited or impaired adriamycin-induced apoptosis in BGC-823 cells (p<0.05, compared with the group without gene intervention), respectively. Luciferase reporter experiments confirmed that AP-2α bound to the BCL-2 promoter and affected its transcription. Therefore, miRNA-135a-5p increased BCL-2 via AP-2α and consequently enhanced cell resistance to apoptosis. This newly identified miRNA-135a-5p-AP-2α-BCL-2 pathway provides insight for the treatment of gastric cancer and solution for insensitivity of gastric cancer to chemotherapy drugs.

Meng X, Meng C, Yang B, et al.
AP-2α downregulation by cigarette smoke condensate is counteracted by p53 in human lung cancer cells.
Int J Mol Med. 2014; 34(4):1094-100 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cumulative findings have demonstrated that the dysregulation of tumor suppressor genes may be implicated in cigarette smoke-induced carcinogenesis. Activating enhancer-binding protein 2 (AP-2) is a eukaryotic transcriptional factor that plays a significant role in embryonic development and tumorigenesis. The vertebrate AP-2 family consists of AP-2α, AP-2β, AP-2γ, AP-2δ and AP-2ε. Previous studies have suggested that cigarette smoking disrupts AP-2 regulation. In the present study, we investigated the effects of cigarette smoke condensate (CSC) on AP-2α expression in human lung cancer cell lines (NCI-H1299, NCI-H446 and A549), as well as the potential mechanisms involved. Using RT-qPCR, we found that CSC decreased AP-2α expression by suppressing its transcription in human lung cancer cell lines, particularly in p53-deficient NCI-H1299 cells. Western blotting and luciferase assays were implemented and we found that the restoration of p53 expression rescued the NCI-H1299 cells from CSC-induced AP-2α loss, while the silencing of p53 resulted in increased AP-2α loss induced by CSC, suggesting an antagonizing role of p53 in the regulation of AP-2α by CSC. Our results indicate that AP-2α downregulation may be involved in smoke-induced lung carcinogenesis.

Gao SL, Wang LZ, Liu HY, et al.
miR-200a inhibits tumor proliferation by targeting AP-2γ in neuroblastoma cells.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014; 15(11):4671-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: MicroRNA-200a (miR-200a) has been reported to regulate tumour progression in several tumours but little is known about its role in neuroblastoma. Our aim was to investigate the potential role and mechanism of miR-200a in neuroblastomas.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Expression levels of miR-200a in tissues were determined using RT-PCR. The effect of miR-200a and shAP-2γ on cell viability was evaluated using MTS assays, and target protein expression was determined using Western blotting and RT-PCR. Luciferase reporter plasmids were constructed to confirm direct targeting. RESULTS were reported as mean±S.E.M and differences were tested for significance using the 2-tailed Students t-test.
RESULTS: We determined that miR-200a expression was significantly lower in neuroblastoma tumors than the adjacent non-cancer tissue. Over-expression of miR-200 are reduced cell viability in neuroblastoma cells and inhibited tumor growth in mouse xenografts. We identified AP-2γ as a novel target for miR-200a in neuroblastoma cells. Thus miR-200a targets the 3'UTR of AP-2γ and inhibits its mRNA and protein expression. Furthermore, our result showed that shRNA knockdown of AP-2γ in neuroblastoma cells results in significant inhibit of cell proliferation and tumor growth in vitro, supporting an oncogenic role of AP-2γ in neuroblastoma.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study revealed that miR-200a is a candidate tumor suppressor in neuroblastoma, through direct targeting of AP-2γ. These findings re-enforce the proposal of AP-2γ as a therapeutic target in neuroblastoma.

Bogachek MV, Chen Y, Kulak MV, et al.
Sumoylation pathway is required to maintain the basal breast cancer subtype.
Cancer Cell. 2014; 25(6):748-61 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The TFAP2C/AP-2γ transcription factor regulates luminal breast cancer genes, and loss of TFAP2C induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition. By contrast, the highly homologous family member, TFAP2A, lacks transcriptional activity at luminal gene promoters. A detailed structure-function analysis identified that sumoylation of TFAP2A blocks its ability to induce the expression of luminal genes. Disruption of the sumoylation pathway by knockdown of sumoylation enzymes, mutation of the SUMO-target lysine of TFAP2A, or treatment with sumoylation inhibitors induced a basal-to-luminal transition, which was dependent on TFAP2A. Sumoylation inhibitors cleared the CD44(+/hi)/CD24(-/low) cell population characterizing basal cancers and inhibited tumor outgrowth of basal cancer xenografts. These findings establish a critical role for sumoylation in regulating the transcriptional mechanisms that maintain the basal cancer phenotype.

Jørgensen A, Young J, Nielsen JE, et al.
Hanging drop cultures of human testis and testis cancer samples: a model used to investigate activin treatment effects in a preserved niche.
Br J Cancer. 2014; 110(10):2604-14 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Testicular germ cell tumours of young adults, seminoma or non-seminomas, are preceded by a pre-invasive precursor, carcinoma in situ (CIS), understood to arise through differentiation arrest of embryonic germ cells. Knowledge about the malignant transformation of germ cells is currently limited by the lack of experimental models. The aim of this study was to establish an experimental tissue culture model to maintain normal and malignant germ cells within their niche and allow investigation of treatment effects.
METHODS: Human testis and testis cancer specimens from orchidectomies were cultured in 'hanging drops' and effects of activin A and follistatin treatment were investigated in seminoma cultures.
RESULTS: Testis fragments with normal spermatogenesis or CIS cells were cultured for 14 days with sustained proliferation of germ cells and CIS cells and without increased apoptosis. Seminoma cultures survived 7 days, with proliferating cells detectable during the first 5 days. Activin A treatment significantly reduced KIT transcript and protein levels in seminoma cultures, thereby demonstrating a specific treatment response.
CONCLUSIONS: Hanging drop cultures of human testis and testis cancer samples can be employed to delineate mechanisms governing growth of normal, CIS and tumorigenic germ cells retained within their niche.

Fu L, Shi K, Wang J, et al.
TFAP2B overexpression contributes to tumor growth and a poor prognosis of human lung adenocarcinoma through modulation of ERK and VEGF/PEDF signaling.
Mol Cancer. 2014; 13:89 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: TFAP2B is a member of the AP2 transcription factor family, which orchestrates a variety of cell processes. However, the roles of TFAP2B in regulating carcinogenesis remain largely unknown. Here, we investigated the regulatory effects of TFAP2B on lung adenocarcinomas growth and identified the underlying mechanisms of actions in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells.
METHODS: We first examined the expression of TFAP2B in lung cancer cell lines and tumor tissues. We also analyzed the prognostic predicting value of TFAP2B in lung adenocarcinomas. Then we investigated the molecular mechanisms by which TFAP2B knockdown or overexpression regulated lung cancer cell growth, angiogenesis and apoptosis, and further confirmed the role of TFAP2B in tumor growth in a lung cancer xenograft mouse model.
RESULTS: TFAP2B was highly expressed in NSCLC cell lines and tumor tissues. Strong TFAP2B expression showed a positive correlation with the poor prognoses of patients with lung adenocarcinomas (P < 0.001). TFAP2B knockdown by siRNA significantly inhibited cell growth and induced apoptosis in NSCLC cells in vitro and in a lung cancer subcutaneous xenograft model, whereas TFAP2B overexpression promoted cell growth. The observed regulation of cell growth was accompanied by the TFAP2B-mediated modulation of the ERK/p38, caspase/cytochrome-c and VEGF/PEDF-dependent signaling pathways in NSCLC cells.
CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that TFAP2B plays a critical role in regulating lung adenocarcinomas growth and could serve as a promising therapeutic target for lung cancer treatment.

Motalleb G, Gholipour N, Samaei NM
Association of the human astrocyte elevated gene-1 promoter variants with susceptibility to hepatocellular carcinoma.
Med Oncol. 2014; 31(4):916 [PubMed] Related Publications
Central role of astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG-1) in regulating diverse aspects of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) pathogenesis and association of its overexpression with HCC progression has been demonstrated. The positive regulatory regions of AEG-1 promoter contain several putative transcription factor binding sites critical for basal promoter activity. In this study, the aim was to explore the association of AEG-1 promoter variant with HCC. In this study, the human AEG-1 promoter including the region -538 to -42 was explored in 53 HCC patients and 108 healthy controls. The polymerase chain reaction-sequencing method was used for investigating AEG-1 promoter polymorphisms. A novel mutation in AEG-1 promoter in human HCC patients at a potential AP-2 binding site was explored. An A>C mutation was observed in -483 of AEG-1 promoter in 4 out of 53 HCC patients but not in 108 control individuals. Sequencing data showed genetic variations in 11 HCC patients and 3 healthy controls. Among them, one novel SNP was found in activator protein-1 (AP2), a transcription factor binding site (-483 A to C) that may be associated with the susceptibility to HCC (P = 0.012) but no associations were found for other observed variations. This mutation could be tumor-specific. AEG-1 promoter variant -483 A>C may be associated with the susceptibility to HCC in Iranian population. To our knowledge, this is the first study that has reported this association with the susceptibility to HCC. Therefore, further studies need to be conducted in larger sample sizes and other populations to validate these findings.

Cyr AR, Kulak MV, Park JM, et al.
TFAP2C governs the luminal epithelial phenotype in mammary development and carcinogenesis.
Oncogene. 2015; 34(4):436-44 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Molecular subtypes of breast cancer are characterized by distinct patterns of gene expression that are predictive of outcome and response to therapy. The luminal breast cancer subtypes are defined by the expression of estrogen receptor-alpha (ERα)-associated genes, many of which are directly responsive to the transcription factor activator protein 2C (TFAP2C). TFAP2C participates in a gene regulatory network controlling cell growth and differentiation during ectodermal development and regulating ESR1/ERα and other luminal cell-associated genes in breast cancer. TFAP2C has been established as a prognostic factor in human breast cancer, however, its role in the establishment and maintenance of the luminal cell phenotype during carcinogenesis and mammary gland development have remained elusive. Herein, we demonstrate a critical role for TFAP2C in maintaining the luminal phenotype in human breast cancer and in influencing the luminal cell phenotype during normal mammary development. Knockdown of TFAP2C in luminal breast carcinoma cells induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition with morphological and phenotypic changes characterized by a loss of luminal-associated gene expression and a concomitant gain of basal-associated gene expression. Conditional knockout of the mouse homolog of TFAP2C, Tcfap2c, in mouse mammary epithelium driven by MMTV-Cre promoted aberrant growth of the mammary tree leading to a reduction in the CD24(hi)/CD49f(mid) luminal cell population and concomitant gain of the CD24(mid)/CD49f(hi) basal cell population at maturity. Our results establish TFAP2C as a key transcriptional regulator for maintaining the luminal phenotype in human breast carcinoma. Furthermore, Tcfap2c influences development of the luminal cell type during mammary development. The data suggest that TFAP2C has an important role in regulated luminal-specific genes and may be a viable therapeutic target in breast cancer.

Zhao R, Meng F, Wang N, et al.
Silencing of CHD5 gene by promoter methylation in leukemia.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e85172 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chromodomain helicase DNA binding protein 5 (CHD5) was previously proposed to function as a potent tumor suppressor by acting as a master regulator of a tumor-suppressive network. CHD5 is down-regulated in several cancers, including leukemia and is responsible for tumor generation and progression. However, the mechanism of CHD5 down-regulation in leukemia is largely unknown. In this study, quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and western blotting analyses revealed that CHD5 was down-regulated in human leukemia cell lines and samples. Luciferase reporter assays showed that most of the baseline regulatory activity was localized from 500 to 200 bp upstream of the transcription start site. Bisulfite DNA sequencing of the identified regulatory element revealed that the CHD5 promoter was hypermethylated in human leukemia cells and samples. Thus, CHD5 expression was inversely correlated with promoter DNA methylation in these samples. Treatment with DNA methyltransferase inhibitor 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (DAC) activates CHD5 expression in human leukemia cell lines. In vitro luciferase reporter assays demonstrated that methylation of the CHD5 promoter repressed its promoter activity. Furthermore, a chromatin immunoprecipitation assay combined with qualitative PCR identified activating protein 2 (AP2) as a potential transcription factor involved in CHD5 expression and indicated that treatment with DAC increases the recruitment of AP2 to the CHD5 promoter. In vitro transcription-factor activity studies showed that AP2 over-expression was able to activate CHD5 promoter activity. Our findings indicate that repression of CHD5 gene expression in human leukemia is mediated in part by DNA methylation of its promoter.

Kang HJ, Lee MH, Kang HL, et al.
Differential regulation of estrogen receptor α expression in breast cancer cells by metastasis-associated protein 1.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(5):1484-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
Metastasis-associated protein 1 (MTA1) is a component of the nucleosome remodeling and histone deacetylase (HDAC) complex, which plays an important role in progression of breast cancer. Although MTA1 is known as a repressor of the transactivation function of estrogen receptor α (ERα), its involvement in the epigenetic control of transcription of the ERα gene ESR1 has not been studied. Here, we show that silencing of MTA1 reduced the level of expression of ERα in ERα-positive cells but increased it in ERα-negative cells. In both MCF7 and MDA-MB-231, MTA1 was recruited to the region +146 to +461 bp downstream of the transcription start site of ESR1 (ERpro315). Proteomics analysis of the MTA1 complex that was pulled down by an oligonucleotide encoding ERpro315 revealed that the transcription factor AP-2γ (TFAP2C) and the IFN-γ-inducible protein 16 (IFI16) were components of the complex. Interestingly, in MCF7, TFAP2C activated the reporter encoding ERpro315 and the level of ERα mRNA. By contrast, in MDA-MB-231, IFI16 repressed the promoter activity and silencing of MTA1 increased expression of ERα. Importantly, class II HDACs are involved in the MTA1-mediated differential regulation of ERα. Finally, an MDA-MB-231-derived cell line that stably expressed shIFI16 or shMTA1 was more susceptible to tamoxifen-induced growth inhibition in in vitro and in vivo experiments. Taken together, our findings suggest that the MTA1-TFAP2C or the MTA1-IFI16 complex may contribute to the epigenetic regulation of ESR1 expression in breast cancer and may determine the chemosensitivity of tumors to tamoxifen therapy in patients with breast cancer.

Hahn SS, Tang Q, Zheng F, et al.
Repression of integrin-linked kinase by antidiabetes drugs through cross-talk of PPARγ- and AMPKα-dependent signaling: role of AP-2α and Sp1.
Cell Signal. 2014; 26(3):639-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is one of the most common cancers of the head and neck, particularly in Southern China and Southeast Asia with high treatment failure due to the development of local recurrence and distant metastasis. The molecular mechanisms related to the progression of NPC have not been fully understood. In this study, we showed that antidiabetes drugs rosiglitazone and metformin inhibit NPC cell growth through reducing the expression of integrin-linked kinase (ILK). Blockade of PPARγ and AMPKα overcame the effects of rosiglitazone and metformin on ILK protein. Importantly, overexpression of ILK abrogated the effect of rosiglitazone and metformin on NPC cell growth. Furthermore, these agents reduced ILK promoter activity, which was not observed in AP-2α, but not Sp1 site mutation in ILK gene promoter. In addition, silencing of AP-2α or overexpression of Sp1 reversed the effect of these agents on ILK protein expression and cell growth. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay showed that rosiglitazone induced AP-2α, while metformin reduced Sp1 protein binding to the DNA sequences in the ILK gene promoter. Intriguingly, overexpression of Sp1 abolished the effect of rosiglitazone on AP-2α protein expression. Collectively, we show that rosiglitazone and metformin inhibit ILK gene expression through PPARγ- and AMPKα-dependent signaling pathways that are involved in the regulation of AP-2α and Sp1 protein expressions. The effect of combination of rosiglitazone and metformin demonstrates greater extent than single agent alone. The cross-talk of PPARγ and AMPKα signaling enhances the synergistic effects of rosiglitazone and metformin. This study unveils novel mechanisms by which oral antidiabetes drugs inhibit the growth of human NPC cells.

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